TACLOBAN CITY – Farmer members of two (2) agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations (ARBOs) will be relieved from the high transportation cost of their products as the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) turned over two six-wheeler hauling trucks worth P3.998 million.
“This is our ongoing efforts designed to help small farmers raise their income and enter a larger marketplace for their goods,” said Director Ronald Gareza of the DAR Bureau of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development.
The beneficiaries of this transportation assistance are the Canmarating, Odiongan, Pagsang-an, Sulpa Irrigators Association (COPS-IA) and the Barangay Agutayan Farmers Association (BAFA) based in the towns of Abuyog and Hilongos, respectively.
Rodrigo Alumbro, president COPS-IA, said that he remembered President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s inaugural message on June 30 last year— “Ang pangarap nyo ay pangarap ko!” as the President stressed what every Filipino should expect in the next six years under his administration.
“It is gratifying to think that the President’s dream for us has become a reality. It was only a dream, but now has become ours,” said Alumbro as he expressed their organization’s gratitude to the President and the DAR for the latest assistance extended to them, a six-wheeler hauling truck.
Gareza disclosed that the two trucks worth ₱3.998 million were taken from the agrarian reform fund (ARF).
“We are also thankful to President Marcos for restoring the ARF to finance DAR’s assistance projects for the ARBs,” Gareza said.
For this year, Gareza further disclosed that ₱7.5 billion had been earmarked under ARF to implement the Sustainable and Resilient Agrarian Reform Communities (SuRe ARCs) project.
COPS-IA and BAFA are the initial recipients of the SuRe ARCs project in Eastern Visayas.
Gareza explained to the recipients that the SuRe ARCs project is being implemented purposely to finance projects for rice, corn and coconut areas.
“For a viable successful business, we want the ARBOs to be operating as a competent organization that can handle at least 50 hectares plantation,” Gareza explained.
DAR Regional Director Robert Anthony Yu said COPS-IA covers 181 hectares of rice fields, but only 130 hectares can be reached by the irrigation system, while BAFA covers more than 60 hectares of coconut lands.
Gareza, assisted by Yu, also turned over four units of deshelling machines worth ₱600,000 to BAFA for their copra business.